Friday, March 28, 2008

Forgive us! Gannett's reparations to Rochester

Who knew Corporate still felt so guilty? The Gannett Foundation gave $4.5 million to the Rochester Area Community Foundation in 2006 -- about half the $9.2 million in overall gifts it made that year, based on the total reported in the most recent public tax returns. The foundation also gave $100,000 to the United Way of Greater Rochester -- the most to any United Way that year. (No. 2 Cincinnati's United Way got $76,000; No. 3 was the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, at $30,000, the documents show.) The Nixon Peabody law firm's Rochester office also bellied up to the trough: The foundation paid the firm $145,330 for unspecified legal work in 2006, documents show.

Why so much generosity toward Rochester? Newer employees may not know that Gannett was headquartered there until the late 1970s/early 1980s, when CEO Al Neuharth wanted to raise the company's profile by moving Corporate -- and lots of high-paying jobs -- close to Washington, D.C.

[Image: this morning's Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Newseum]

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